HORSHAM Volleyball’s Kara Johnson has taken plenty of opportunities to further her game, whether it be in the domestic competition or playing in state league.
She became involved with the sport during her early years of high school and has fallen in love with the game.
“I began through school at Horsham College initially with a friend who needed some people to fill in,” she said. “A few of us went to play and I just kept going.”
Since, Johnson has worked at her craft and was rewarded by featuring for the Phantoms, the western Victorian team, in Volleyball Victoria’s state league premier women’s division.
“This was the first year we have had a team in the premier women’s division for the Phantoms and we made finals, which was pretty massive,” Johnson said.
“We didn’t train together very much and that did make it tough and we did have to travel a fair bit for it to compete. It’s a pretty tough standard and given the club is made up from across western Victoria, it is very social and you meet a lot of people.”
Johnson was the only Horsham representative in the women’s premier division.
“I’ve been playing for the Phantoms for four years and it was the first year that we had eight teams, and there were other Horsham representatives in the other levels," she said.
“We had some people from Murtoa College and Horsham go on and compete in that level. They continue to improve and it’s been really good for them to play at a higher level.”
Johnson has had to deal with some setbacks in her time playing volleyball – she has had four surgeries on her left ankle.
“I had surgery last year and I have had some ankle injuries over the time,” she said.
“It’s not from volleyball I’ve just broken it before. It initially restricted a lot of movement and caused me some pain but I haven’t had too many issues lately.”
Among her highlights playing volleyball include gold medals with Horsham at country championships.
“Country championships are our pinnacle for country Victoria and to win back-to-back gold medals was great,” she said.
Johnson also tries her hand at some coaching, and said the passion from the young players is inspiring.
“This year I assisted David Berry with the under-17s state team and we went to Queensland about a month ago,” she said. “The girls came away with a bronze medal, which was really good.
“I love the passion these kids have for volleyball, they really do live for it. We had Cleo Baker miss her sister’s graduation to come to training the other night. They love it and that keeps us going so we can keep them involved and helping them be the best they can be.”